Current Postdoctoral Scholars

Sota Iwatani

PhD: Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Kobe City, Japan

Mentor: David Stevenson, MD

Research: My research focuses on improving the developmental outcomes of preterm infants, and I am interested in the role of increased bilirubin production in the neonatal period. At Kobe University, I studied hyperbilirubinemia in preterm infants and established a novel method for the measurement of bilirubin, specifically unconjugated unbound bilirubin (free bilirubin). My current work explores the role of heme oxygenase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of bilirubin, in a variety of conditions that affect newborns.

Can Liu

PhD: Karolinska Institutet in Solna, Sweden

Mentor: Suzan Carmichael, PhD

Research: At the Karolinska Institutet I studied the psychosocial factors of preterm birth, specifically investigating a mother's living circumstances across her lifespan. With a background at the intersection of clinical and social research, I am specialized in perinatal epidemiology using national registers. Together with Dr. Suzan Carmichael, I will look for ways to improve maternal health by building scientific evidence that can inform clinical and social policy.

Abraham (Avi) Tsur

MD: The Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel

Mentors: David Stevenson, MD and Ron Wong, PhD

Research: I am a physician scientist focused on innovative pharmacological and mechanical strategies for the prevention of preterm birth and pregnancy complications related to impaired placental development.

My current research objective is pharmacological reversal of pregnancy complications related to heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) deficiency. Our lab and others have demonstrated that HO-1 deficiency leads to impaired placental development and consequently maternal and fetal pregnancy complications.

Earlier in my career during my obstetrics and gynecology residency in Israel, I invented the OBSPRING, an innovative, dynamic mechanical device for the prevention of spontaneous preterm birth. The OBSPRING is currently under safety investigation in non-pregnant women and planned for clinical trials in London in 2018.